Wednesday, 27 June 2018
National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill 2017, Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Bill 2017; First Reading
I'll be very brief. Centre Alliance will be supporting this motion to deal with the bills separately. We note that it's very important national security legislation and, in principle, we are in support of it—although we don't necessarily understand all of the details. And that needs to be drawn out, as Senator McKim has suggested. This has gone to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. There has been considerable discussion both in the PJCIS and in the media in relation to these bills. It's a very complex set of legislation that involves powers to protect national security, but it also inhibits conduct of citizens. That may be necessary, but we need to explore that in much more detail. There have been two reports that the PJCIS has generated in relation to these—754 pages worth of reports—with 60 recommendations from the first report and 52 recommendations from the second report. We do need to consider this carefully and properly. As I said, Centre Alliance will be supporting the motion.